Substance Abuse in Members of the military who come back home from warfare, according to Psychiatric Times, have high rates of drug addiction. Substance abuse frequently coexists with other conditions like anxiety disorders like (PTSD), brain damage (TBI), and injury-related pain. An individual with more than one disorder, like having mental health issues and Substance Abuse simultaneously, is said to suffer from a co-occurring disorder. This situation is additionally seldom called a dual-diagnosis. The disorders in dual diagnosis can make each other severe with the passage of time. The co-occurring disorders can be from the same family of disorders, or one can be from one family and another, as an individual suffering from a mental health disorder like Schizophrenia and A.D.D. Another individual is suffering from A.D.D. and substance abuse. All these cases are called co-occurring mental health disorders. It is believed that an individual who is the victim of one of the mental health disorder will get at least one more disorder like substance abuse (in many cases), low energy, substance abuse, A.D.D. or ADHD etc.
Despite the danger lying ahead because of mental disorders, including substance abuse, isolation, unemployment for a long time, the break-up of relationships, self-destruction, and other related causes, they do not get the help they need. However, they need to seek psychiatric diagnosis, which can save them from the future dangerous and harmful effects of the disorders. Often, anxiety, rejection, and other related conditions do not allow patients who are currently suffering from mental illnesses to seek help from a psychiatrist. The same can be the case with Veteran military soldiers.
Substance abuse is unfortunately common among military personnel, according to research. This is because of the stigma they carry from the combat missions, losing their friends, no contact with family for a longer period of time and many other reasons, but the point to note is all the veterans take help of alcohol to get relief from the pain. The following are some of the results of various surveys on substance abuse consumption among army members:
- Alcohol consumption rates in the armed forces ranged from 15 to 20 per cent between 1980 and 2005.
- When 6,527 US Army troops were screened after returning from Iraq, 27 per cent showed alcohol consumption signs.
- Alcohol misuse was reported by 25% of the 1,120 soldiers who had recently deployed, and alcohol-related behaviour issues were reported by 12%.
- War atrocities and life-threatening combat scenarios were found to be significantly linked to substance abuse.
Drug Addiction Symptoms in Senior Military members
At assigned hospitals and clinics, the United States Veterans Health Administration (the “VA”) provides treatment programs and other health treatments to veterans. Whether a former soldier established a substance abuse problem as a survival strategy for military service-related pain or any other reason, specific treatment is needed.
Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder, According to The Va, Include:
- Tolerance to the physical world. When the person needs more of a drug for substance abuse to get the same effects as they did before.
- Compulsive behaviour. Mental addiction is defined as making finding and using the mistreated drug(s) the highest priority in one’s life, aware of the harmful consequences.
- Withdrawal is a term used to describe the act of withdrawing. Substance abuse causes the body to become accustomed to a drug’s existence, to the point where the substance abuser will encounter drug hunger pangs and other symptoms of withdrawal if the drug is not present.
- Emotional factors are essential. Emotional pain or discomfort caused by depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other conditions can lead to substance abuse.
A veteran who exhibits signs of substance abuse problems or is worried about substance abuse should always seek professional therapists’ advice, whether through the VA or elsewhere. On the other hand, the VA provides private and confidential assessment tools for mental health problems such as alcohol and other substance abuse, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder to assist veterans in their education.
You know! Substance abuse is a disease. A disease becomes worse if not taken care of properly at the proper time. So, if a victim hides a disease, it can cause shame in itself. Another aspect is that people often hide their illnesses because of negative societal pressure. If this condition is persistent throughout the disease period, it may end up dying to the victim. In drug addicts, the victims feel depression and may or may not feel fit for social activities. This can lead them to isolation. Hence, isolation is the root cause of more substance abuse. So, the problem worsens with time if not taken proper care of at the appropriate time. That is the main reason “less than ten people out of hundred go to doctor or specialist for help.”
Overdose of substance abuse can be hazardous in every case, which can cause severe injury or even death to the victims. The habit of an overdose in the addicts worsens with the passage of time and with increased isolation. Tolerance to the drug leads to overdose, and once the tolerance to the drug developed, the victims need more and more medications to satisfy the need. This is the worse situation for the addicts. In this condition, if the victim can not take the drug for a short period, they would need to overdose. So, if they take overdose more frequently, the body does not know how to process a large amount of the drug and thus fails, and severe issues happen to the victims.
The VA provides evidence-based drug treatment facilities for all substance abuse stages, from early substance abuse to acute addiction. Medication has customarily included the use of medicines to aid detox and upkeep therapy and non-medication-based support, including such individuals and teams counselling (across various systems, not just the VA). In some cases, such as methadone for heavy substance abuse, the VA may recommend using medication-assisted therapy (available in particular, approved programs).
When a veteran has a dual treatment plan, such as PTSD, he or she will undergo care appropriate for both circumstances. The VA has created a searchable tool called the Substance Use Mental illness (SUD) Program Finder to help veterans find treatment programs. It is better to approach the VA by understanding enrollment for substance abuse treatment and more data on the aspects of veteran health insurance coverage.
- Contacting the OEF/OIF Supervisor at your local VA Medical Center.
- Consult your VA healthcare provider.
- Locating a Vet Clinic in Your Area
- Calling the free Veterans Administration hotline at 1-800-827-1000
Integrated Treatment Plan for Veterans
Integrated treatment is a treatment method for patients diagnosed with two or more mental health disorder and or substance abuse. This is called a co-occurring state with victims. When treating the co-occurring condition, you need to focus more on the patient as a professional. So, treatment of co-occurring state becomes more complicated when the patient newly comes to you, and you need some time to understand the condition of the patient and the diagnosed mental health disorders properly. So, when you have managed to understand the state of the patient precisely and professionally, now it is time to take over the patient with the strategies and therapy or other medical treatments.
The specialists of the NCCA have shown that the use of relaxing methods in the management of depression, stress and discomfort has indeed been proven efficient. The basic relaxation period will affect how your brain reacts to your situation’s pressures when used as part of the general therapy schedule. So, veterans need basic relaxation and workouts for mindfulness to manage theirtrauma and stigma of combat.
Workouts for mindfulness directed imaging, self-hypnosis, constructive healing and yoga or reflection, for example, can assist people in monitoring their “fight or flight” reaction. Since anxiety contributes to an accelerated heart rhythm, enhanced respiration and B.P., calming exercises – taught in dual diagnosis – may reduce blood pressure and change breathing rates. For many of these people, enhancement technology is secure; nevertheless, specialists advise that qualified specialists teach people since specific effects are likely to intensify if interventions are misused.
Help Veterans Now
Veterans frequently require more comprehensive and timely care than that provided by the VA. We’re happy to assist in these situations. Our clinical staff and addiction specialists have extensive experience working with veterans who are struggling with substance abuse or dual diagnosis and treatment. We’re here to help you get started on the road to recovery. If proper care and treatment are given to the victim at an early stage, they can save their lives from destruction. So, all you need to do is take care of your family and friends and take notes at the early stage. Otherwise, it can be more challenging to handle the situation. If substance abuse is not treated at the proper time, it may change into a mental illness. So, be alert and save a life.
Feel like you (or somebody you adore) placed your decisions or somebody else at risk? Do you face legal problems due to your addictive behavior? Are you taking unhealthy chances with your substance abuse? If so, then it could be necessary to go and get assistance. Contact us 24/7. Via this, we are all here to speak to everyone.
Citation and Reference
- Psychiatric Times (April 2021)
- Spoting Signs of Alcohol misuse(April 2021) (DualDiagnosis)
- United States Veterans Health Administration(April 2021) (US VA)
- established a substance abuse problem(April 2021)(DualDiagnosis)
- PTSD(April 2021)(DualDiagnosis)
- confidential assessment tools for mental health(April 2021)(US VA)
- drug treatment facilities(April 2021)(US VA)
- Substance Use Mental illness (SUD) Program Finder(April 2021)(US VA)
- VA(April 2021)(US VA)
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.